The Holy Week in the Philippines is usually an off-season for businesses. Malls and establishments close as Filipinos trek to the provinces or nearby countries to take a break or fulfill their religious obligations. For businesses that aren’t located in malls or commercial centers, however, they can choose to remain open or not. But should they?

The decision to remain open or not must be done with careful consideration. Below are the things you need to think about to determine if your business should be open for business during the Holy Week holidays.

Will There Be Customers to Serve?
The goal of any business is to make a profit; and profit comes from customers purchasing your product or service. Depending on the industry you’re in and the type of business you have, there may or may not be a steady flow of customers to sustain you during the Holy Week break.

Ask yourself: “Where will my customers be?” If your business is online and serves clients regardless of location, then perhaps staying open would be a good idea. If you depend upon foot traffic or being seen, then perhaps you can limit your business hours or close entirely for a few days. If you can cater to the holiday travelers or those specific groups of people left behind in the city, then you can perhaps stay open, too.

How Much Will It Cost to Remain Open?
Every business has overhead costs: rent, electricity, manpower, and other utilities. On a normal business day, these costs may be offset by your revenue. But during the holy week holidays, when customers are few, it may make more business sense to manage your operating schedules or close for a day (or two) than spend money catering to a few people or none at all.

On the other hand, if you’re confident customers will come and sales will remain the same or even stronger than normal days — you may perhaps own a beach resort, a café or restaurant, or a popular pitstop that caters to travelers — then remaining open will be a good idea.

Will Manpower Be Available?
During the holiday season, most of your employees will most likely be on vacation as well. But if you ask them to report to work, you need to abide by special compensation guidelines for regular and special holidays. Workers who report to work on regular holidays are entitled to receive double their basic pay. For special non-working holidays, meanwhile, they’re entitled to receive an additional 30 percent above their basic pay.

You also need to consider the attitude of your employees. Taking a break from work has been proven to boost productivity, as well as increase overall employee morale. The holidays may be the best time to give your hardworking employees a break, and for you to reflect upon the business and determine what your next steps will be.

Will Your Suppliers Also Be in Business?
If your business deals in managing physical products or depends upon other businesses, make sure to check if your suppliers will also remain open during the holidays. Nothing could be worse than deciding to open your doors and serve customers, only to realize that supplies are low and there isn’t a way to replenish them.

Get in touch with your suppliers and find out what their holy week holidays plans are. At the same time, coordinate with your purchasing department or warehouse and find out if you’ll have enough supply for the holidays.

Depending on your type of business and the customers you serve, the Holy Week holiday may be lucrative for you, or provide a few extra days of rest and reflection.

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